THE rising in Ireland — for we cannot call it a rebellion, the Irish people, with the exception of the Sinn Feiners, being unswerving in their loyalty — was speedily put down when the soldiers took the business in hand. The loss of life was deplorably great, and the city of Dublin has been terribly damaged. But the thing is at an end now, and the execution of three of the ringleaders should serve as a warning to others not to embark on these dangerous enterprises. For this is not peace time, in which a nerveless administration, though never commendable, is nevertheless possible. It is war time, and the suspension of civil law is a speedy and effective means of dealing with trouble. On Wednesday in the House of Commons Mr Birrell, submitting to the inevitable, resigned the office of Chief Secretary for Ireland. The chastened spirit in which, while protesting the excellence of his intentions, he admitted that he had not rightly taken the measure of the Sinn Fein movement, greatly impressed the House. In the face of his confession, and in view of his evident suffering more on account of the injury resulting to Ireland from his error than in self-pity for the disastrous ending of his political career, disarmed criticism. The system which allowed a man of his temperament to hold an office the holder of which should be a man of iron is more to blame than Mr Birrell.
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